Global beef demand predicted to stay static
Global beef production is expected to increase by 1.4pc in 2017, while consumption is forecast to remain static.
This global market outlook was delivered by Bord Bia's Mark Zieg at a beef outlook seminar in Naas last week.
While major beef exporter Australia is expected to show a 24pc drop in exports this year - due to the tightest beef supplies in 20 years - increased production from other quarters is expected to make up any shortfall in global supplies.
Higher export volumes from USA, Brazil, India, Canada and Paraguay are expected to offset the reduced supplies from Australia and New Zealand.
International consumption is expected to be driven by higher consumption in Asia and Africa and by increased demand from these markets.
However, despite the difficult global outlook, there may be opportunities for increased Irish exports. Industry sources indicate that the drop in Australian beef production, and consequent hike in prices, has opened the door for possible Irish exports to Egypt.
It has been suggested that the Egyptian authorities are keen to agree trade deals with other beef exporting nations in order to guarantee supplies and to ensure price competition for contracts.
2016 was a difficult year for live exports, despite 20,000 head being shipped to Turkey and a 26pc increase in live exports to Spain.